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Dear all

Tiama is nearing the end of its long and very successful campaign trip in to the Western Province of PNG Thank you to everyone from around the world who  supported us in this part of our campaign work . The incredible progress that we have made on the Kiunga  imbak campaign and the ground work that we are having on RH are a tribute to the org, to our supporters,  and particularly the many wonderful people who have worked with us on the campaign over the last three months. The success that we are having belongs to us all.

Recent events and happenings:

1. Last week the team spent six days on the ground of the Rimbunan Hijau logging concession of Wawoi  Guavi. RH, from Malaysia, is one the largest, most destructive and aggressive logging companies in the world. We documented the logging, environmental  impact, the stories of the people and gathered a large amount of photographs and evidence that will help us in our coming campaign work. The general feeling with the locals was that an RH supporter had done some  puri puri (traditional magic) on our camp, which caused  to rain most of the time.  As if we don’t have enough logistical challenges!  The team regularly came back covered from head to toe with mud.

 Henry, Dorothy and Sep had a meeting with landowners from the Kamula Dosa and Wawoi fallls. We have had various warnings that a lot of these folk were not interested talking to us, it turns out they see all ngo’s as the same and weren’t aware of what GP does and why we were here. After a lengthy meeting the campaign team were very pleased with the support and feedback they received as this is an important area. David and Geoff have been getting plenty of breaches of the forestry code of practice. Sandy has some great photos and very passionate testimonials of affected landowners. On Saturday the team entered Komusie – the heart of the RH operations in Western Province. This is RH’s saw mill and veneer plant. The team was interviewed during the day by the notorious One Eye known for committing various human rights abuses in Bouganville and also at Komusie. He was accompanied by an AK47    carrying thug. After a lengthy and heated discussion between One Eye, Dorothy and the photographer Sandy, he left us to our final hour’s work

This morning the Tiama sailed past Panikawa – RH’s other mill on the Wawoi River. The onboard team stood on the yacht wearing “Stop Forest Crime” t-shirts which we photographed. This was the first piece of overt public protest during this trip, but a fitting message to the company that we hope to take on in a concerted  and public way in the near future, and who had made  our lives so very difficult for the last three weeks.

SV Tiama will arrive in Port Moresby in the middle of  next week after three months fantastic field work and we will start packing up, debriefing, and planning for  he next steps. Against the many obstacles we have faced in the last few weeks we have managed to  get into the concessions and make some solid progress for our campaign.   From the export point, to all the way up the rivers and into the concessions  the locals now know about Greenpeace and what we stand for.  It is early days but   we have been laying a good foundation for our future work.

Best regards and thanks

Stephen Campbell 

The GPAP Forest campaign team.

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